Sous vide has been a passion of mine for 3 years. Ever since I discovered the method that produces the perfect steak, I’ve since studied other methods of what is known as “modernist cuisine” or, before that term came to use, molecular gastronomy. One invaluable resource in my studies has been Chef Steps, a website that offers many free cooking classes in addition to premium classes. The premium classes are worth their small fee. It was from their sous vide courses that I learned how to make the deconstructed bagel & lox dish I’m posting here. I made some alterations and converted their measurements, which are by weight, to the more familiar (albeit less exact) measurements by volume, because very few of us have scientific scales sitting around in our kitchens.
Kosher Status : Dairy
| Ingredients |
- 4 Salmon filets, deboned & skinned
- 1/4 cup cream cheese, Philadelphia brand *note: brand here is important because Philadelphia brand contains the correct stabilizers to have a pleasant consistency once heated
- 1 shallot or red onion
For the salmon brine
- 5 cups water
- 1/2 cup kosher salt
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1 tablespoon liquid smoke
For the dry rub
- 3 tablespoons kosher salt
- 3 tablespoons brown sugar
- 3 tablespoons black pepper
- 2 tablespoons coriander seeds
- 2 teaspoons garlic powder
- 2 teaspoons juniper berries
- 1 teaspoon chili flake
For bread crumbs
- 1 bagel, plain
- 1/4 cup dried onion flakes
- 1/4 cup dried garlic flakes
- 1/4 cup sesame seeds
| Directions |
Brine the salmon
- Combine all of the ingredients for the brine into a glass bowl. Place the salmon into the bowl and allow to brine in the refrigerator for 45 minutes.
- While the salmon is brining, set up your sous vide to 45°C/113°F.
Prepare the dry rub
- Combine the juniper berries, coriander seeds, and kosher salt into a spice grinder (or coffee grinder if you don’t have a spice grinder) and grind into a coarse powder. Combine with the other dry rub ingredients. Set aside.
Prepare the bread crumbs
- Preheat oven to 375°F.
- Tear the bagel into pieces and grind into small crumbs in a food processor.
- Spread bagel crumbs with the other bread crumb ingredients evenly on a baking sheet and bake until golden brown and dry.
Cook the salmon
- Remove the salmon from the brine and pat dry with towels. Apply the dry rub all over the salmon and vacuum seal (you can use alternate methods as well, such as the Archimedes principle).
- In a separate bag, seal the cream cheese.
- Set the salmon and cream cheese into the sous-vide bath for 30 minutes.
So plating is where you get to be creative. After the salmon has finished in the sous vide, pull it and the cream cheese out of the water. Remove the salmon from the bags and plate. Cut a small corner off of the bag containing the cream cheese to act as a crude piping bag (unless you have a piping bag then, by all means, go “banana sandwich” with it) and “pipe” the cream cheese around or on the salmon. Slice your shallot/onion and arrange the slices as you wish. Top with bread crumbs and capers. Show your artistic side!
Now this salmon will be quite salty, which is pretty much how lox salmon would taste as well. I have to note that the cream cheese is a necessity to cut through the salt of the salmon. That said, all together this tastes exactly like bagel & lox with a fun novel twist on texture and aesthetics.
I think I like this whole deconstructed thing!